China’s turning up the geopolitical pressure this week to have other nations join its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The initiator and prospective majority shareholder of the $50 billion AIIB has set March 31 as the deadline for acceptance of founder members of the new bank.
This follows the hubub stirred by the UK’s decision late last week to join the AIIB against vociferous U.S. and less loudmouth Japanese objections. Alas, since then Germany, France, Italy, and Luxembourg have also signed up for founding membership and Switzerland and even Australia and South Korea (the latter two under strong explicit U.S. pressure to stay away) have said they are considering joining up.
Washington’s misstep has turned into yet another laughable (if it weren’t so sad) gross U.S. foreign policy failure – and an entirely avoidable one at that.
For China, lassoing European along with near unanimous Asian endorsement of the AIIB represents another success for its soft power approach in international affairs and another significant milestone in realization of the “One Belt, One Road” northeastern China to Western Europe overland and maritime new Silk Road connectivity.
Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, meanwhile, chided the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Sundayhttp://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/504246/china-raps-adb-for-being-bureaucratic for what he called its bureaucratic management, noting that the regional lender was not the best example of its kind.
Mr Lou, speaking at the China Development Forum held in Beijing, AIIB will have an operational policy that is different from existing international financial institutions.
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